We are delighted to announce that Ripe India has commenced trading, providing support services to us here in London.
Many of you will know that for the last 7 years we have enjoyed a very good working relationship with a company in Mumbai that had been taking care of our bookkeeping needs. But you might not have known that it had always been our plan to open our own office in India.
In November we announced that Darshan Shah had joined our team to head up operations there. He’s an experienced chartered accountant, who had been working in London for 10 years and decided he wanted to re-locate with his young family to his home town of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Ahmedabad is famous, amongst other things, for the ashram that Gandhi established on his return from South Africa in 1915 and which was his home until 1930.Today, Ahmedabad is a thriving city, with a population of some 6 million, ranked by Forbes as the third fastest growing city of the decade, with new offices and homes, shopping malls, cinema complexes and sports centres constantly springing up. India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, developing financial and technological parks.
Since November Darshan has been very busy finding offices and building a team. Rushi Shah joined him first, having 5 years experience of UK accounts, VAT and bookkeeping. A few weeks later, Manisha Soni joined the team. Manisha graduated in 2011 having completed a Masters degree in Business Administration, since when she has been working in accounts and bookkeeping. And they’re now looking for a fourth member.
We are fortunate that with today’s technology, Ripe India use exactly the same systems that we do in London – it’s as if they were working right here in our office! This means that clients’ records stay in the UK, with India logging on to systems to carry out their work, be it our on-line document management system or on-line Sage/Xero, all of which have the latest encryption technologies and are backed up on remote servers. And the IT security is even tighter there than it is here, for example prohibiting downloads, (with USB ports disabled), and restricting web access. And just like any of our employees, everyone signs confidentiality agreements.
Pratima and I very much enjoyed visiting them last month, spending a number of days discussing our systems, procedures and clients’ needs, watching the family of monkeys playing on the trees outside the office and drinking the masala tea that was delivered at regular intervals.
We can’t wait to go back!